20/20

Yesterday we mounted the final geolocator on a Red-necked Phalarope! We fitted 20 in total: 13 on males and 7 on females. Upon approaching the 20, it became increasingly difficult to find and capture new ones. Females have left by now, and the only two breeding males in the area that didn’t have a logger yet occupied extremely wet and inaccessible areas. Although I went into the marshy ponds as far as possible (wearing only shorts…), they won the game! Yesterday, there was suddenly a group of five males in the ‘big’ lake of Gelmetje; probably failed breeders. We captured three of them and surprisingly, one of them was already ringed as a chick in 2013 by Johannes. This adds to a growing number of recaptures of birds ringed as chicks in the same area.

Skua-wise the work is rather ‘stable’: we are checking the few chicks that are still around. We monitor their growth and in return they get some jewelry (a steel ring and a green colour ring). In Raurejaure we have only four chicks left, and singletons are in Gelmetje and Björkfjället. They are getting bigger and bigger and are around 200 grams already. Juvenile feathers are emerging but the wings are still stubby. See below for one of these beauties!

Long-tailed Skua chick. Higher mountains of Ammarfjället in the background.
Fluffy Long-tailed Skua chick on the 1st of July. Higher mountains of Ammarfjället in the background.
One of the succesfull pairs: KM and NR, keeping an eye on their chick and us. Lake Geppejaure in the background.
One of the succesfull pairs: KM and NR, keeping an eye on their chick and us. Lake Geppejaure in the background.
Chick time! Familiair to regular guests of this blog: a Golden Plover.
Chick time! Familiar to regular guests of this blog: a Golden Plover. My girlfriend Denise found it on her first day in the field!
We had some encounters with Caipercaillie chicks chaperoned by their protective mothers. Big mamas!
We had some encounters with Caipercaillie chicks chaperoned by their protective mothers, mainly along the gravel road towards Gelmetje and Björkfjället. Big mamas! Yesterday, we had two families, a male Hazel Grouse and an immature Moose male. Other goodies these days include the occasional Golden Eagle, Ring Ouzels and quite some Bohemian Waxwings. We even found a nest of the latter!
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3 thoughts on “20/20

  1. Åke Lindström July 10, 2014 / 8:59 pm

    A Waxwing nest sounds VERY exciting. Details?

  2. Åke Lindström July 10, 2014 / 11:08 pm

    I searched the online bird database “Svalan” for Waxwing and “nest with eggs/young” and only got about 50 hits. So, a good finding! However, you should then remember that some records are just double (ad and juv reported separately). In addition, almost all with given details refer to adults feeding “FLEDGED YOUNG”. So, they are reported wrongly and no nest found. There are actually only a handful of records where undoubtly a nest found. So, please record as much as possible of the details and report on Svalan!

    If I do not remember wrongly, Waxwing was one of the regular breeding birds in Sweden last to be reported a nest for! Anyway, it has become more and more common in Sweden and we even trapped some in Post-LUVRE!

    Keep up the good work!

    • robvanbemmelen July 16, 2014 / 11:44 pm

      Hi Åke, great stuff! Thanks! See our latest post for some details on the nesting Waxwing. I’ll report it to Svalan later on. There might be another nesting pair closeby; we heard and saw some at about 100m on 4 July but haven’t seen or heard them since. They apparently become very secretive and silent when incubating…

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